September 17, 2018, John N. Mitchell - The Philadelphia Tribune
There are the everyday burdens of life and then there are those Eric Eberhart is facing.
In April, the 17-year-old Nicetown resident watched in horror from the passenger seat of his father’s car as bullets fired from a passing van exploded through the driver’s-side window and tore holes in Eric Eberhart Sr.’s chest, leaving him dead in the 4400 block of Germantown Avenue, right below Roosevelt Expressway. Eberhart Sr. had dropped off his 2-year-old daughter at a day care center just a few moments earlier.
By itself, this is unimaginable trauma. But there’s more.
A few weeks later, while he was sitting on a porch in Chester on a warm night, Eberhart Jr.’s younger brother was hit by a stray bullet that was believed to be intended for someone else. The bullet grazed the 14-year-old boy’s spinal cord before it exited his body. Doctors are uncertain if he will ever again walk unassisted.
What is certain, however, is the body of empirical evidence that shows the homicide rate is higher in poorer parts of the city like Nicetown.